What's the deal with HDCD?

Discussion in 'Music' started by chris_clem, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. chris_clem

    chris_clem Second Unit

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    I have recently noticed that some of my favorite CDs (like my Natalie Merchant CDs) are HDCD and so I decided to read up on this format but I now have more questions that answers and I was hoping if someone can help me out.

    1) From the HDCD.com site:
     
  2. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    If you run a search, there was a thread a while ago that gave a nice overview of HDCD. Basically, it's better than a regular CD but nowhere near SACD/DVD-A. Also, it's pretty much a dying format so there isn't much hardware support for it.
     
  3. Andy_Steb

    Andy_Steb Stunt Coordinator

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    I’m no expert in this area, but I think it’s more of which processor you have not the dvd player to receive HDCD.
    I currently own one HDCD (Kenny Wayne Shepard) and I find no difference between it and regular cd. I wouldn’t let this HDCD thing influence your decision on future purchases. SACD and DVD-Audio blows HDCD out of the water.

    My current setup HK525, HDCD printed on the face plate. Will play HDCD in stereo mode only, all surround modes off.
    Denon 2900, with the 6CH analog outputs there is no indication of HDCD. With the optical output, the HK has no problem decoding HDCD from the PCM signal. I haven’t tried 2CH from the HK to the Denon to see what it will do.
     
  4. Richard Solomon

    Richard Solomon Auditioning

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    Hello all: I just read this thread because, in comparing the Harman Kardon sr4500 with the newer 4600, the only difference between the two is that the latter has added "HDCD decoding". Sounds like the consensus is that this was hardly a significant advance. I'm curious, though, why a newer machine would have this feature if it's really going to be soon defunct or superceded. Any thoughts?
    Thanks, and Happy New Year! Richard
     
  5. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I see HDCD as a "bonus" feature of any receiver/CD player/DVD player. Even with SACD/DVD-A, there are still titles being released with HDCD encoding. And HDCD encoding can be found on the CD layer/side of some SACD/DVD-A, such as Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms".

    [​IMG]
     
  6. andrew markworthy

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  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    If you're playing an HDCD on the same equipment in the same manner with and w/o decoding, you could notice a difference. My secondary basement system has HDCD decoding built into the receiver and also the DVD player down there. I also have an old outboard DAC down there that is still pretty good compared to very expensive separate CD playback. Playing back any HDCD w/o encloding thru the DAC sounds better than playing it back with HDCD thru either the DVD player or the rec'r. As noted by the other posts above, consider it a bonus, not a necessity. Most CD playback thru the avg. home theater set-up is primarily geared towards DVD playback with CD playback as a secondary feature anyway.
     
  8. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I've had HDCD available in my home theater system for several years, and I have never been able to tell a difference between HDCD and redbook CDs. Even switching between analog and digital connections, there doesn't seem to be a difference (and I'm listening through Rotel gear with B&W Nautilus speakers). HDCD is fading away IMO.
     
  9. Richard Solomon

    Richard Solomon Auditioning

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    Thanks for the very helpful replies.
    Richard
     
  10. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    HDCD is not fading way, Mark. It's just that what used to be owned by Pacific Microsonics was acquired by . . .

    Microsoft.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...hdcdabout.aspx

    My Mitsu DD-8020 has HDCD playback capability but it's not a universal (DVD-A but no SA-CD). As long as you have a transport with a digital out, all you need is a pre/pro or receiver that does HDCD decoding.

    -p
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I have a huge music collection and I bet no more than 25 CD's I own, have HDCD. Warner has dabbled with it and I have a couple of Grateful Dead remasters done up with it that I recall. I have a flock of Higher Octave label CD's with the ex-tree codes. I've never had any equipment that decodes it...
     
  12. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    The Onix XCD-88 is a good entry level HDCD player ($299) just in case anyone's curious.

    Windows Media 9 has a HDCD indicator which will light up if you happen to play a HDCD in your CDROM (not WMP10, tho it does decode HDCD)
     

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